Jake Shields earned a win over Ed Herman in his UFC middleweight debut tonight at UFC 150, but his performance wasn’t a crowd-pleaser.
Herman started confidently with a number of strikes but then surprisingly opted to clinch up with Shields against the cage.
That seemed to suit Shields who attempted a trip takedown, though Herman was able to get straight back up and go back to the clinch game.
They jockeyed for position before Shields again looked for the trip, and this time he got it. Shields wasn’t able to take advantage of the position though before Herman found a way back to his feet.
Right back to the clinch against the cage they went and it became something of a stalemate for the rest of the round, though it was Herman who was controlling where the fight was taking place for the most part.
Onto the second and again it was Herman looking to instigate the clinch battle. That proved to be a bad decision though as this time Shield was able to trip him to the mat and secure top control.
From side control Shields looked for a kimura submission, but gave up on it and Herman was able to work his way back to full guard.
Shields isn’t in any hurry and appears happy just to keep position and land just enough ground and pound for the rest of the round to keep the referee at bay. Not particularly thrilling stuff to watch, but nevertheless it’s definitely Shields round.
Onto the third and Herman looks to have a striking advantage but he still wants to clinch instead. Shields looks for the takedown and Herman stuffs it and soon after is able to get Shields down for a brief moment.
Back on the feet and Shields swoops down for a takedown and lands it. The former Strikeforce champion manages to get side control and then full mount, but he’s not doing anything with these advantageous positions and Herman is able to get him back to full guard without taking any damage whatsoever.
The round ends in lackluster fashion with Shields not throwing anything meaningful from the guard.
On to the judges scorecards for the first time this evening and Shields gets the nod by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
So Shields picks up a win in his first outing in the UFC’s middleweight division, but it was a tepid performance that’s not going to win him many new fans or encourage the promotion to put him into a higher profile bout next time out.